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In-form Gary Ballance back to aid Yorkshire title pursuit
Gary Ballance column
It’s always nice to score hundreds and I have managed a couple of them for the England Lions in the last week or so. Especially when you’re in good form, you need to be greedy, make the most of it and score as many as you can. It would have been nice to get another in the final match of our series against Bangladesh A but unfortunately I fell 13 runs short.
We won the first two games pretty comfortably after getting big scores. Then, after posting more than 300, they chased them down at Taunton on Saturday, which was a good effort.
It was pretty much the perfect scenario. The Lions won the series, I managed to score some runs and Yorkshire were able to win another Championship match against Nottinghamshire. It could not have gone much better.
I am available to play in this week’s Championship match against Durham at Scarborough, although it looks like Dizzy and Galey have a selection headache after a great performance at Nottingham. Hopefully I can get back in the side!
Obviously the lads had a great effort down there at Trent Bridge. On a green pitch, they went in, batted well and made the most of it by bowling them out twice.
This week is a really important week. If we can win the game, it will open up a big gap between us and Durham, who are second at the moment.
They’ve got a game in hand on us, so if we can beat them it will give us a really good chance of winning the Championship I think.
I wouldn’t say it’s a two-horse race yet because a lot of teams at the top have got to play each other and it could still come right down to the wire. I wouldn’t put it past Sussex and Middlesex still running it close.
Graham Onions is a top-class bowler who could have easily played more matches for England, so he will be a big miss for Durham as he’s injured. He’s been absolutely brilliant again this season.
But they’ve also got a good young attack who will be confident, having done well against Surrey. It’s going to be really hard work and a good game. We are really looking forward to it.
For England to win the Ashes with such a convincing scoreline, when some people are saying they’ve not been at their best, is an impressive achievement.
Australia have got a good, strong side, so it’s going to be a really interesting series in Australia.
I’m sure they will have wiped the slate clean once they get home. They will believe there have been positives to take from this series but if England play like they can, I’d back them to win again.